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Highway 17: Median coalition sets deadline for council

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

David Gundling, a lawyer and member of a coalition opposed to removing the paved median from Highway 17 through a portion of the Pawleys Island business district, told members of Georgetown County Council this week time is running out for a compromise.

“We want to work with County Council,” Gundling said during the council’s public comment period. “What we’ve gotten so far is County Council working against us. We want to reach a compromise. As County Council, you have the power to affect that.”

Gundling said the Citizens Coalition for Ocean Highway had requested a place on the June 13 council agenda to request a task force to reexamine the median project. The coalition has not been on the council’s agenda in June or July. “If County Council does not put it on the agenda by the next meeting,” Gundling said, “we will assume you are not concerned with working with citizens.”

Gundling asked council members to “work together now before we have to pursue other options.”

On Wednesday, Gundling said those options include legal action.

Gundling thanked Council Member Ron Charlton for attending the coalition’s meeting at Waccamaw High School June 20. “We laid out the issues we had with the median,” Gundling said, “and some of the proposed solutions our expert has come up with that are in the best interests of the community. We have serious concerns with the way the project was presented to the general public.”

Gundling said the original study erroneously included traffic accidents near the Waverly Road-Highway 17 intersection. He said it added 20 percent more accidents to the study area from Waverly north to Baskervill Road.

“I find very few people in favor of this project from our community,” Gundling said. “Over 2,000 individuals signed petitions against this project.” He called the process “disrespectful” of residents, businesses, shoppers and vacationers.

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